Marin TOD Planning: Drop The 'D'

Marin County, long known for its environmental awareness, is concerned about anything that is "growth inducing", and that certainly includes the new SMART passenger rail system, approved by the voters in November, that will serve Sonoma and Marin.

While transit oriented development is the adopted policy of the region's MPO, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, many city governments are unwilling to adopt it, even when it comes with carrots such as planning funds.

"With the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit project set to come online in 2014, cities on the route in Marin are eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars from MTC's ( station area planning grants program) to help them plan housing around the train stations.

The MTC - which is pushing housing and retail around transit hubs to limit car trips - happily handed out the cash to every city that applied for the dollars in Marin and Sonoma. But in Marin only one of the three eligible cities stepped forward: San Rafael, Novato and Larkspur passed, each saying they were not quite ready to embrace the concept until they know more."

In San Rafael, it appears that housing will not be the major focus for the station area.

"The focus for the downtown San Rafael station will not be housing, but parking and finding ways to accommodate train users without tying up downtown."

Thanks to Marta Lindsey

Full Story: Not all on board for high-density housing near rail stations

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